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eBay to open ‘experimental’ UK store in December

eBay, the online shop, is to open its first UK shop, in the latest sign that internet retailers are moving onto the high street.

The eBay shop will only be a five-day experiment, but follows similar schemes run by Amazon, House of Fraser and even Marks & Spencer to encourage their internet shoppers to visit real shops.

The shop on Dean Street, just off Oxford Street, will open during the busiest period for online shopping: December 1 to December 5.

However, the shop will have no tills and only a very limited selection of products, none of which shoppers can take away with them. Instead, 200 of the bestselling items such as a party dress from House of Fraser or an inflatable ride-in Dalek toy will be on display for customers to inspect. If they want to buy it, they can then use their smart phones to scan in a so-called QR code on the ticket. This is a bit like a bar code, which will automatically take the customer into the payment section of the eBay website on their phone.

There will also be a separate area of the shop with eight tablet computers, with the full assortment of eBay's 200m products, if people just want to browse and buy from the internet.

QR codes are being increasingly used by retailers, with Tesco experimenting in South Korea, allowing commuters to scan in QR codes printed on posters at a train station to buy their groceries.

Source : Harry Wallop - The Telegraph

17 November 2011
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